You can’t lose weight? How frustrating! Mostly it’s not up to you, but rather the methodology. Here are 11 typical traps – and how to avoid them.
In principle, fat loss is simple. You need a calorie deficit – so eat fewer calories than you use – and then you lose weight.
The art, as so often, lies in the practical implementation:
- Do you feel good losing weight?
- Could you go on like this as long as you want?
- Is your body fat percentage dropping at all?
If you answered “no” to at least one of these questions, this article is for you.
As long as you don’t know your “Unknown-Unknowns” – traps that you step into without realizing it – you will continue to tread on the spot.
But as soon as you recognize them and transform them into “known-unknowns”, the most important step is already behind you. Then you start to change.
This is a emergency to-do list for exposing undetected saboteurs.
There are 11 popular ways people are repeatedly sabotaging their fat loss progress themselves – without being aware of it.
1. You rely on willpower
They say that losing weight does not work without self-discipline. You need a LOT of it to win all the inner battles.
Is that really true?
If fat loss only works with a lot of discipline, will and inner stress, then I would be out.
Get me right, the way of discipline and willpower works in theory. Sometimes in practice too. But it has a serious catch:
Willpower is limited.
Even if you are blessed with an iron will.
Just as each of us has strong moments, there are also weak moments. We are all tired, lazy, hungry, stressed, angry, sad, happy or lazy.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind:
NEVER rely on your willpower.
It is about as reliable as the weather report for the week after next.
Solution: If you want to lose weight sustainably , you need new automatisms. This is training, but it can be fun.
→ How to change your diet.
2. You want it now (and don’t plan for the long term)
Is your goal an ideal body fat percentage? Maybe you want to fit into a certain size again – S or M maybe?
This can be done by just about anyone, as long as you stick to a strict diet for a limited period of time and exercise regularly.
You can transform your body dramatically in 3-12 months.
The key question is: what then? What’s next after that?
Do you want to be slim on day X – or for life?
If you only care about a day, that’s okay too. But if you want to get slim and STAY it for a lifetime, the majority of diets will let you down.
Therefore, you should consciously decide what you want: a short-term or a long-term solution? Depending on the objective, the paths look very different (and also feel very different).
If you want to look good naked in the long term, you can also find approaches in training and nutrition that work in the long term.
Solution: On this overview page you will find a number of tried and tested strategies, all of which are designed for sustainability.
3. You really destroy yourself while training
The more destroyed you feel after a workout, the more effective? Millions of people fail because of this belief every year.
Because at some point they no longer want to do this torture.
Training can be fun!
Sure, fun is in the eye of the beholder. If you like being pissed off in boot camp, go for it. And if not, also good: It is not necessary.
Actually it should mean “no continuity, no gain”. But it doesn’t sound so good. So just remember:
“No pain, no gain” is nonsense!
Worse, the script is counterproductive. In many cases, pain is a serious alarm signal from your body. Why would you want to make it a symptom of progress?
For me it’s just a negative belief. He plays in a league with “if you want to be beautiful you have to suffer” or “sport is murder”.
If training means torture and struggle for you – how long do you mean, how long do you stick with it?
Most people don’t even manage two months.
That’s why you can find a workout that you enjoy. That challenges you, but not overwhelms you. That gives you a sense of achievement that you can be proud of – preferably after the first week.
Solution: Every dramatic physical transformation is based on small successes. A good long-term goal challenges you, but the daily micro changes should be easy for you.
The onboarding training plan in Looking Good Naked is based on this pattern, in case you are looking for an example.
4. You never learn to eat consciously
Here is a helpful script that you probably already know: “You are what you eat.”
But do you also know this one?
You are HOW you eat.
About every sixth German is obese. This puts Germany above the EU average.
And the Italians? How do you think they fare? The kitchen is not exactly known for being low in calories.
In Italy, just one in ten people is obese.
Italians are significantly slimmer than Germans.
Isn’t that strange?
What we know about particularly healthy groups of people is that they have a healthy FOOD CULTURE.
People meet to share good food and good stories.
It is not the nutritional value that plays a role, but also the trimmings:
- which portion sizes are served?
- how fast or slow is eaten?
- how important are high quality food?
Now it is unlikely that a food culture initiative will suddenly be started in this country to do something good for people.
But that’s not necessary.
Everyone can get used to a more conscious eating behavior.
And the best? You eat exactly the same thing and still lose weight. The “downside” is that you start to enjoy it more.
Although … hmm, is that really a disadvantage?
Solution: These three stomach-way tips are a training program for more enjoyment and eating culture – a change in diet is not necessary.
5. You forbid yourself what you love
Speaking of Italy … there should be people who don’t gelato like. Maybe they come from another dimension, but I LOVE perfect ice cream.
Hand on heart.
Would you forego your favorite food for life – to look good naked?
Those who want to lose weight often forbid their favorite foods for an indefinite period of time.
Often it even works for a while. Until the shot backfires.
Total bans encourage eating attacks.
Remember the previous point: If you put the “Verboten!” label on a food that you love. missed – then how do you ever want to enjoy it again? Without a guilty conscience?
No satisfaction without enjoyment.
What often happens then is: “I ate a piece of chocolate. Oh no! Well, it doesn’t matter now anyway. I can also eat the whole table. Then at least I have peace! ”
Does that sound like enjoyment to you? It’s best to get to the root of the problem:
You want to look good naked? Then stop the bans!
We recommend that our clients plan for exceptions very consciously – and enjoy them with a clear conscience.
Solution: The 90/10 rule of healthy eating gives you the freedom to eat anything you like love – AND make progress.
6. What works for others must also work for you – do you think
Do you have a buddy who swears by keto because he lost tons of weight with it? Or a friend who is vegan – and has been slim since then, like never before?
There are low-carb, high-carb, vegans, keto and paleo fans, there are countless models that work for many of us.
Intermittent fasting works great for me. Do I still blindly recommend it to each of my clients? Nope. In fact, most of them eat the typical three meals a day – because that best suits their lifestyle.
You need a nutritional model that you can stick to as long as you want.
One that can be integrated into your daily routine as smoothly as possible and does not leave your needs and inclinations outside.
Different people have different preferences.
A nutritional model that works for someone else will only work for you if you feel good about it.
Solution: Don’t let yourself be unnecessarily restricted. Proper nutrition goes much further than most popular diets suggest.
7. You eat (much) too little
At least you’re in good company. Because “F.d.H.” 2 is still our most popular diet.
No wonder so many people are frustrated because losing weight doesn’t work.
Those who rely on micker portions almost never do themselves a favor.
Some people do this out of ambition, others are impatient, some frustrated and some even want to punish themselves for their past “sins” with a radical cure.
If you want to lose weight, you have to eat.
And give your body what it needs in order to function optimally, even in the calorie deficit – vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and secondary plant substances.
If these essential substances are missing, your body reacts with cravings and binge eating – to protect you. Often not only the mood suffers, but also the immune system.
Your body needs nutrients especially in a calorie deficit.
Especially when you crank up your sports workload at the same time to increase your daily calorie requirement (you can use my calorie calculator to determine how high your calorie requirement is).
Solution: With this simple nutritional hierarchy you can effectively burn fat without burning out.
8. You drink too little water
Do you drink enough? Drinking water helps you lose weight.
Calorie-free drinks can suppress a slight feeling of hunger that can arise between meals. They are also a good substitute for anyone who has got used to snacking and has slowed down their fat loss.
Interestingly, we sometimes mistake thirst for hunger.
Then you might eat something even though your body actually needs fluids.
In addition, performance decreases with increasing dehydration. In numbers: only 1.5% lack of water can lead to 6% less strength, 2% to 7-29% less endurance. 3 4 5 Mental performance also drops significantly. 6
Thirst usually only arises from a water deficiency of 2%.
Your metabolism is already running with the handbrake on.
A dehydrated body is like a dehydrated plant.
And who wants a withered body?
Solution: You need about 2-3 liters of fluids a day. More when you sweat. Read more about drinking water for weight loss here.
9. You’re not eating enough protein
A protein-rich diet helps you lose weight because it makes it easy for you to stay tuned.
Of the three macronutrients – protein, fat, carbohydrates – it is the nutrient with the greatest satiating effect.
Protein keeps you full and satisfied.
Conversely, your body seems to be signaling “hunger” as long as your protein requirement has not yet been met. Scientists call this “protein leverage”.
You also want to absorb enough of the muscle building material so that your body does not break down your muscles in the calorie deficit in order to get protein (or calories).
Simple rule of thumb:
If you want to lose fat, you should eat at least 2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day.
If you weigh 80 kg, you should get 192 g of protein a day.
Conversely, if you accidentally eat “too much” protein, it is difficult to put on fat this way. Because to do this, your body would first have to convert the protein into sugar and then into fat – a very inefficient metabolic process in which a large part of the calories contained is lost in the form of heat.
Solution: No idea how you should get to 2.4 g / kg? Here are 122 ideas – in the ultimate protein foods table.
10. You decide on a diet that is as fun-free as possible
Some people are tough when it comes to dieting:
- Some only eat 500 kcal a day for weeks,
- some only eat meat,
- some only eat raw vegetables,
- some follow a strict eating plan that tweaks and tweaks everywhere.
Get me right, there are very strict nutritional models that can work well. In theory, anyway. What I want to say is this:
You should know your limit.
You should consider it and embrace it before you make any dietary change.
If you are too busy to eat a specific combination of foods every three hours, then don’t kid yourself. Be honest with yourself.
If you don’t like standing in the kitchen for hours, you should take that into account.
In coaching I ask when it comes to new routines:
“On a scale of 1-10 – how sure are you that you can do it?”
If the answer is between 1-7, the hurdle is still too high. Then we readjust and make the task easier.
Change can be easy.
Looking good naked is based on small successes – and they add up over time.
Solution: If you want to lose weight, you should do the right shopping and learn to cook deliciously and quickly. With the right basic equipment in the kitchen you can make things easy for yourself.
11. You don’t find any deeper meaning in your fitness
Sounds esoteric, but incense sticks are not required. Let me explain.
If healthy eating primarily means developing good habits, then those who are slim and fit over the long term have one thing in common:
They care about more than just looking naked.
There is a deeper meaning behind this.
Something that your fitness change may be a symptom – or a “side effect”.
Here is a simple way how you can figure out YOUR deeper meaning:
Ask “Why” five times.
You just ask yourself why you want the change until you get stuck.
Let’s use an example: “I want a six-pack.”
- “ Why do you want a six-pack?” – “Because I finally want to be slim.”
- “ Why do you want to be slim?” – “Because I want a sporty figure.”
- “ Why do you want a sporty figure?” – “Because then my favorite pants will fit again.”
- “ Why do you want your favorite pants to fit you again?” – “Because I felt good in my skin when it fitted me.”
- “ Why do you want to feel good in your skin?” – “Because that makes me happy.”
You will know the deeper reason as soon as you start to go round and round about further questions.
In the example it starts with the fourth why. It also becomes clear that in addition to the six-pack, it is also about doing something good for yourself. And in that case you don’t have to wait until you have a six-pack …
Solution: Find your “why”. The best thing to do is to break away from all external conventions. Every why is legitimate.
If the thing with losing weight doesn’t work, it is mostly due to an unconscious sabotage program or a behavior that you just haven’t had on your screen before.
You now know eleven of these safe fat loss saboteurs:
- You rely on your willpower
- You don’t plan for the long term
- You start the most brutal training program possible
- You never learn to eat consciously
- You forbid yourself what you love
- You think what works for others, works for you too
- You eat (much) too little
- You don’t drink enough water
- You eat too little protein
- You are following a diet that you (actually) hate
- You don’t know the deeper meaning behind your goal
If you identify with one or more points can, congratulations! This will bring you a big step forward – even if you may not yet know the solution.